Sunday, July 08, 2018

USA Games Special Olympics

Checking out the main basketball court with fellow officials Don Marcotte and Jeremy Colter.  
July 1-6--Seattle, WA--Since 2006 and every four years,  The USA Special Olympics Games comes together for athletes to compete in 14 sports.  This year's games were held in Seattle, Washington.  The highlight for the athletes is the opening ceremonies.  Over 4000 athletes from the District of Columbia and all 50 states participate.

This is my fourth time to be invited to officiate basketball at these games.  It's an honor to be part of a group of dedicated volunteers who give up a week of time to observe and participate with talented, hard-working and fun athletes.  

Although I do bring a camera, it is sometimes nice to be part of the ceremonies instead of trying to document every moment.  You get to listen more to what's going on.  You feel more involved.  You are a part of something big.

As we walked to Husky Stadium on the campus of University of Washington, the people of Seattle lined the street to cheer the athletes.  It was absolutely an emotional time as we saw signs, cheering fans, hand slaps and lots of noise of encouragement.  Didn't take any photos, for once it was just fun and inspiring to walk with the athletes, have worthwhile conversations and just enjoyed the moments with new and old friends.

The officials sat in one section of the stadium, so we could sit and enjoy the ceremonies.  

Empty Seats before the Athletes enter the Stadium
Full Section
Theme for the Games, #Risewithus
Tim Shriver addressing the stadium, as seen on the screen
Copyright 2018 Laurence L. Levin
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